Captain's ReportA Spry RunnerBy Capt. Robert E. SmithWalking up to the docks at Lake Lanier in Georgia, the LS Bowriders from Caravelle stood out. They seemed to be saying “you haven’t seen anything yet” to me. First up was Caravelle's 217LS, and with the black hull color and elegant striping she looked like a million bucks and, Caravelle promised a great ride. At the BowBeginning at the bow, the 217LS offers a great space to lounge on the filler cushions that make a huge sunpad or two can sit back and relax in the lounger seats located in front of the helm and companion stations. A concealed beach boarding ladder makes jumping off at your favorite beach a snap. Docking cleats snap down out of the way when not needed so they aren’t a trip hazard when using the boarding ladder. An anchor easily nests in the clips below the telescoping ladder and still has room for lots of line. Beneath the cushions you have plenty of room to store gear for a full day on the water.Moving BackThe fully framed wrap-around windshield has features a large walk through opening. In the sole is a huge locker for boards and skis, with an easy drain cushion system that protects the gear. The bucket seats in the cockpit are spring suspension SoftTech seats with flip-up bolsters. The companion station has a built-in armrest with a slash pocket below complete with an additional drink holder. In the dash top is a stainless steel drinkholder and heavy duty grab bar. The glove box is accented with burlwood look and has a ton of room to keep wallets safe and dry while you enjoy the water.At the HelmThe helm station also is a comfortable space with more burlwood looking accents for an elegant feel. A matching adjustable tilt wheel is padded for comfort on those long ski runs. Lighted rocker switches are grouped to the left of the wheel while the Kenwood stereo is mounted to the right. Faria gauges are grouped together above the wheel for good position while view underway. Below the dash is an iPOD/MP3 jack for your own mix of music underway.Aft cockpit seating is L-shaped and wraps from the companion seat around to the starboard walk-through transom. There is more storage is under the benches and a carry on cooler is cleverly concealed in the floor of the walkthrough transom. The engine hatch doubles as a sun tanning spot. The filler cushion over the walk-through has a three position adjustment to be open for boarding, angled for a headrest, or down for a larger pad. The stern light is stored in clips just inside the engine box. A large dry storage area is to next to the engine, to keep the life jackets warm and dry.Stern FeaturesThe swim platform is molded in and larger than many I have seen in a boat in this size range. Our test model had the transom remote so you could control the tunes while enjoying the water. Boarding from the stern is easy with a concealed telescoping ladder and you can use the platform locker as either a cooler or a wet locker. If you are really into watersports, this model also offers a wakeboard tower or a Premium Wakeboard Tower with premium sound system, tower speakers and amplifier!SpecificationsThe Caravelle 217LS Bowrider for measures 21’5” length overall with a beam width of 8’6” and she carries 36 gallons of fuel. While we tested with a 270-hp Volvo 5.0GXi, she is rated for up to 300-hp sterndrives.Performance & Ride Even with rough conditions the 217LS proved to be a spry runner. She handled heavy chop and close cornering with ease proving she is a nimble ride and can keep you dry, even when the chop isn’t so much fun. The 217 was up on plane in 3.6 seconds and up to 30 mph in 8.7 seconds. She is comfortably riding on plane at 3500 rpm and 27.1 mph while capable of at least 46.4 mph top end. I am convinced in normal boating conditions, she would easily top that speed. At cruise speed, the 217LS is capable of about 110 miles on a full tank of fuel.If you are looking for an executive looking ride that still has the speed to thrill, Caravelle offers a great choice in the 217LS!
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Caravelle 217 LS Bowrider (2007-) is 46.4 mph (74.7 kph), burning 21.3 gallons per hour (gph) or 80.62 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Caravelle 217 LS Bowrider (2007-) is 31.2 mph (50.2 kph), and the boat gets 3.39 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.44 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 110 miles (177.03 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 270-hp Volvo Penta 5.0 Gxi.
Standard and Optional Features
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
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